This cake is inspired by the baked sweets of Sicily, many of which are filled with sweet, creamy ricotta and studded with dark chocolate. A dust of icing sugar in place of the icing is a lovely alternative if you feel like something more simple.
300 grams firm ricotta
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, size 7
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup milk
1½ cups roughly chopped dark chocolate
150 grams dark chocolate
125 grams butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Grease and fully line a 22cm cake tin.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Cake: Using a handheld beater, whisk together the ricotta, olive oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Whisk the baking soda into the milk and add to the flour and baking powder with the ricotta mixture and the chopped chocolate. Stir gently, ensuring ingredients are just combined and chocolate is evenly distributed.
Spoon mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool.
Chocolate icing: Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the olive oil. Place bowl in the refrigerator and cool, stirring occasionally for 15–20 minutes or until icing is thick enough to spread on to the cooled cake. Serves 8–10.